Week 3: Secure Your Home
This article applies to: National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, focusing on our shared responsibility to keep the online community safe for everyone. It’s more important than ever to strengthen our approach to cybersecurity. Remember: If you connect it, protect it. Do your part. #BeCyberSmart.
Make your home a haven for online safety. The average U.S. household has 11 Internet-connected devices. By 2030, 50 billion smart devices will be in use worldwide. These devices transform how we live and work. They provide a level of convenience, but they require that we share increasingly more information.
Take simple steps now to safeguard against cyberattacks: Secure your home Wi-Fi network and protect your connected devices.
Secure your Wi-Fi network.
If a criminal gains control of your home wireless router, they can use it to access all your connected devices. Secure your Wi-Fi network and devices by changing the factory-set default password and username.
Enable stronger authentication.
Two-Step Login adds an extra layer of security to your Cornell NetID and password. Enabling two-factor authentication on your personal accounts protects them, too, even if your password is compromised. Use 2FactorAuth to find sites that offer stronger authentication, like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Visit StopThinkConnect.org for more on how to lock down your login, plus give your accounts a security checkup.
Keep a clean machine.
Protect yourself and your devices. Stay current with software patches and install updates for apps and operating systems as soon as they become available. Keeping your software updated will help prevent attackers from exploiting known vulnerabilities.
Keep tabs on your apps.
Be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of apps before downloading and installing them. Check that app vendors or creators are reputable. Some apps may request access to your location and personal information. Take time to configure the privacy and security settings of your apps and devices. Most devices default to the least secure settings. Delete the apps you don't use regularly and turn off Bluetooth when you don't need it to increase your security.
Consider what you share.
Limit the amount of personal information you share online. Your full name, phone number, address, school or work location, and other sensitive data should not be published widely. Disable geotagging features that let people online know where you are and where you've been. Limit your social media networks to the people you know in real life and set your privacy preferences to the strictest settings.